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My Teenage Son Is Smoking, What Should I Do?

17 July, 2022
Q I’m a father of 3 kids, I found out that my oldest son who is 17-year-old is smoking.

I’m not a smoking father and I don’t know how to convince him to give up this bad habit, What’s your advice?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•If he agrees, you may want to get medical intervention such as the patch or gum to ease withdrawal symptoms.

•If he does not agree to quit, you can only continue to encourage good healthy habits, gentle reminders of the health consequences as well as the Islamic rulings on not destroying our bodies.

•By aligning yourself as a support system for him, you may get much further than with punitive measures.

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As-salamu alaykum,

While smoking is detestable, I am afraid that at 17 your son is almost considered a young man now and in a few more years will be grown.

Unfortunately at this age, the more you say “no”, the harder they push to do it. I would kindly suggest that when things are calm, take him out somewhere nice. Such as to lunch, a walk to the park, fishing, whatever he enjoys. Causally ask him what he plans for his future.

When he responds you can point out that it may be hard with emphysema. Or cancer or any other of the numerous health problems smoking brings.

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I would have some literature on some of the conditions with pictures and explanations. I would also tell him that if he wishes to quit, that you will be there to help him.

While good health is a reward for quitting, often times a parent will help their child quit by setting up milestone rewards of their choosing as an incentive.

My Teenage Son Is Smoking, What Should I Do? - About Islam

I do not know how long your son has been smoking, but he is probably addicted. In this case, if he agrees, you may want to get medical intervention such as the patch or gum to ease withdrawal symptoms.

If he does not agree to quit, you can only continue to encourage good healthy habits, gentle reminders of the health consequences as well as the Islamic rulings on not destroying our bodies.

By aligning yourself as a support system for him, you may get much further than with punitive measures.

We wish you the best brother, you are in our prayers.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.